Rabbit or Duck

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"Rabbit or Duck"
How I Met Your Mother episode
Episode no. Season 5
Episode 15
Directed by Pamela Fryman
Written by Carter Bays, Craig Thomas
Production code 5ALH15
Original air date February 8, 2010 (2010-02-08)
Guest appearance(s)

Lauren Shiohama (Marissa)
Arnold Chun (Waiter)
Phil Simms (Himself)
Jim Nantz (Himself)
Bar Paly (Natalia)

Episode chronology
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"Perfect Week"
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"Rabbit or Duck" is the 15th episode of the fifth season of the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother and 103rd episode overall. It originally aired on February 8, 2010.


Ted, Marshall, Lily, and Robin hang out at Ted's apartment to watch Super Bowl XLIV, where the camera catches Barney holding up a sign in the crowd asking women to call him. It pays off as his phone keeps ringing with women on the other end. He hires Ranjit as his personal driver. Robin also reveals that she accepted an offer from her colleague, Don Frank (Ben Koldyke), to go on a Valentine's Day date with him, while they were on the air. The gang debates whether Robin is attracted to Don using the duck-rabbit illusion. This leads to one of the most intense fights ever among the group, with Marshall supporting rabbits as an object of desire, and Ted, Robin, Lily and Ranjit supporting ducks. Ranjit even falls back into his native language to yell at Marshall. Marshall eventually concedes the point ("ducks good; rabbits bad").

Given the success of Ranjit's arranged marriage, Ted decides to let Marshall and Lily pick the perfect bride for him during a double date on Valentine's Day itself. Ted joins Robin on her date at Don's apartment, as Don said there would be a party. Ted leaves when they see Don on the couch naked and realizes there was no party. Don says he was trying The Naked Man. Robin confronts Don and he admits he is interested in her but didn't know how to say. However, she sees him with a large pair of rabbit ears.

Meanwhile, Barney's having problems with his pickup phone. When he is about to bed one woman, an even hotter woman calls the phone. This causes him to ditch the woman and have Ranjit drive him back to MacLaren's on three separate occasions. On the fourth incident (involving a hot chick named Natalia), Barney throws the phone in the dumpster so he can concentrate on the woman. As he was about to seal the deal, he could hear the phone ringing in the distance (in the manner of Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart) and gets it again at the dumpster. Marshall and Lily later hide the phone inside the piano at Ted's apartment. Ted and Robin, who agreed to clean up the place for the day, find the phone and Ted answers.

Ted goes on the double date with Marshall and Lily, who have fixed him up with Nataliaׂׂ (Bar Paly). Despite their compatibility, Ted continues to answer the phone, which results in another encounter at MacLaren's, wearing aviator sunglasses and sitting across from another woman. Seeing Ted on the line, Barney tries to get it from him, but Ted passes it to Marshall and Lily, who drops the phone in a pitcher of beer.

Back at the apartment, Ted and Robin lament about their single status, but later agree to clean the bathroom.

While preparing for another episode of Come On Get Up, New York, Don apologizes to Robin for his unprofessional behavior and praises her news anchor skills. He also tries to improve his work ethic by getting coffee for Robin. She realizes that he is wearing pants (which he never does), and the next time she looks up she imagines a duck bill on his face.

Critical response[edit]

Donna Bowman of The A.V. Club rated the episode with a grade A,[1] while Cindy McLennan of Television Without Pity gave it a C+.[2]

Brian Zoromski of IGN gave the episode 9 out of 10.[3]

TV Fanatic gave the episode 4 out of 5 praising the quotes,[4] while Time praised acting of Barney Stinson.[5]

Alan Sepinwall and The Star-Ledger also didn't opted out to comment saying "What a bizarre but ultimately funny episode of "HIMYM.""[6]


  1. ^ Donna Bowman (February 8, 2010). "How I Met Your Mother: Rabbit Or Duck". The A.V. Club. The Onion. Retrieved August 15, 2017. 
  2. ^ Cindy McLennan (February 8, 2010). "How I Met Your Mother "Rabbit or Duck"". Television Without Pity. Retrieved August 15, 2017. 
  3. ^ Brian Zoromski (February 9, 2010). "How I Met Your Mother: Rabbit or Duck Review". IGN. News Corporation. Retrieved August 15, 2017. 
  4. ^ "How I Met Your Mother Review: "Rabbit or Duck"". TV Fanatic. February 9, 2010. Retrieved August 15, 2017. 
  5. ^ James Poniewozik (February 9, 2010). "HIMYM Watch: It's Wabbit Season! It's Duck Season!". Time. Retrieved August 15, 2017. 
  6. ^ Alan Sepinwall; The Star-Ledger (February 9, 2010). "How I Met Your Mother, 'Rabbit or Duck': Don the pants-less duck". NJ.com. Advance Digital. Retrieved August 15, 2017. 

External links[edit]